AVENGERS: ENDGAME (2019)
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Josh Brolin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Tom Hiddleston, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Letitia Wright, Evangeline Lilly, Benedict Wong, Gwyneth Paltrow, Frank Grillo, Tessa Thompson, Winston Duke, Robert Redford, Rene Russo, Tilda Swinton, William Hurt, Jon Favreau, Ken Jeong, Marisa Tomei, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, Stan Lee and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.
Screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
Directed by Joe Russo & Anthony Russo.
Distributed by Marvel Studios. 182 minutes. Rated PG-13.
The story so far…
Hmm, so here’s the new Avengers movie. And as I recall, there was some kind of cliffhanger in the last one, wasn’t there?
Okay, you had to be living in a cave for the last year to not have heard of the super-tragic climax to the most recent Avengers film Infinity War. At the time of watching it, I must admit I thought that the Marvel Cinematic Universe had totally painted itself in a corner with that ending. (I won’t repeat what happened on the outside chance you are one of the like ten people in the world who never heard about it.)
The good news is that Avengers: Endgame works its way out of that corner, and it mostly does not feel like a narrative cheat. Okay, maybe a bit of one, but at least as a storytelling gimmick, it works for the world they are portraying.
Therefore Avengers: Endgame is able to undo the massive downer of an ending for the last film, making this movie a much more pleasant movie-going experience. Still, not all is sweetness and light here. Two pretty major characters die here – no way I’m going to tell you who it is, go see it and find out yourself.
So, what can we tell you about Avengers: Endgame without letting out spoilers?
Well, first of all, this is by far the best Avengers movie since the first one. And it sends this venerable series off in a very good stead. It’s smart, exciting, and sometimes very funny though in other ways extremely serious.
It shows new and interesting aspects of many very well-known characters – particularly Thor. And it’s the first Marvel film in memory that doesn’t have a little bonus teaser scene thrown into the end credits. (Sorry if that seems like a spoiler, but it is not in any way an important point to the story at large.)
On a slight negative point – and there aren’t many negative points here – the film features the largest mega-battle yet. There are thousands of good guys taking on thousands of bad guys in a battle that is so massive that it quickly loses and coherence or even interest. This is an ongoing problem in the Avengers universe; the massive battles are not nearly as interesting as the individual fights and character interactions.
Then again, everything about Avengers: Endgame is big, from its emotional and physical scale to the just enormous cast. You know the old saying it takes a village to raise a child? Well it takes a small town to make an Avengers movie. You know a movie has a massive superstar cast when they can bring in the likes of Marisa Tomei, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cobie Smulders and Samuel L. Jackson for a single scene, making them part of a crowd scene in which none of them speaks a single word.
And Stan Lee gets one last Marvel movie cameo. Excelsior, good sir.
Avengers: Endgame gets the MCU back onto sure footing, and even just as a stand-alone film it is quite impressive. Even the potentially scary fact that it runs over three hours turns out to be no problem. The film is fleet and exciting through most of its long run time, and if it does bog down a little in the middle, it is not distracting or a plot problem.
Avengers: Endgame will undoubtedly be the biggest hit of the summer. Happily, it is worth the accolades and the massive box-office bonanza that it will undoubtedly receive.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2019 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: April 26, 2019.